A Scott Boras client taking a discount?! To sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers? Did we fall into a wormhole and enter an alternate universe? Somehow, that's exactly what happened when JD Martinez signed on for one year and $10 million last week.
That's $1 million less than what Joey Gallo got with the Twins. It's at least $5 million less than what Justin Turner got with the Red Sox. It's $23 million less than what Josh Bell got with the Guardians. Martinez is a better hitter than all three of those players.
But familiarity reigned supreme here. Martinez desired to be reunited with former teammate Mookie Betts, as well as hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc, who helped get Martinez's career off life support back in 2013 (he's since been one of the best sluggers in all of MLB).
There were some other factors working against Martinez, though. He's heading into his age-35 season. He can't really play defense anymore. His power saw a big dropoff from 2021 to 2022 (28 HR vs 16 HR, .867 OPS vs .790 OPS, .232 ISO vs .174 ISO).
Then again, that stuff usually doesn't matter when Boras is your agent. He manages to squeeze every last penny out of the interested club, citing whatever dossier he's prepared as the quintessential reason why his client is worth top dollar.
Did JD Martinez negotiations help Dodgers out with Scott Boras and Julio Urías?
Here's what Boras told MLB insider Ken Rosenthal in his latest column:
"“(Dodgers president of baseball operations) Andrew Friedman and Mookie were like college coaches seeking the big recruit,” Boras said. “J.D. was fully aware of the recent signings and took $6 million to $7 million below his value. He wanted to win and he wanted to (optimize his ability). He felt the Dodgers were the best team to help him achieve those goals. He made them fully aware he has every intention to play well and seek his true value in the seasons ahead.”"- via Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic
If Boras was able to get the deal Martinez wanted, is it possible the future negotiations with another one of his clients, Julio Urías, go in the Dodgers' favor as well? Right now, the left-hander, entering his age-26 season, will be a free agent after 2023. With the way pitcher contracts are trending, Urías can expect $200+ million if he's shooting for the stars.
He's already got the seal of approval from ace Clayton Kershaw! If Urías is feeling more and more comfortable with the Dodgers -- the team that discovered him in Oaxaca, Mexico, at the age of 15 -- is it possible he can direct Boras to get a lucrative deal done faster, within LA's financial parameters, so he can remain atop the rotation, become a franchise legend, and rid himself of the stress/uncertainty of free agency?
That's more than likely wishful thinking. But the fact Boras' aging client in Martinez took significantly lower than his market value to land in a familiar/favorable environment leaves the door open for Urías to potentially reveal his true feelings about the only organization he's ever known.